The average Green Bay Packers fan is not thinking about the money issues right now because the 2013 season is only two games old, but you can bet every NFL team’s executive has the salary cap uppermost in his mind every day.
Considering all the parity in the league today, prudent drafting and expenditures can turn around a team’s fortunes in a second. The Green Bay Packers are no different. Since signing linebacker Clay Matthews and quarterback Aaron Rodgers to mega-deals this year, a lot of thought has to be given to the supporting cast and who stands to be re-signed and who stands to leave the team next year.
An interesting article in yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel raises the interesting question of roster moves for the Packers as it relates to the present and future salary cap.
Who is likely to stay among the unrestricted free agents next year?
Probably too early to tell, but the article has revealed that nose tackle B.J. Raji is in talks with the Packers about a new contract. My guess is that unrestricted free agents cornerback Sam Shields, wide receiver James Jones and tight end Jermichael Finley could be on the list for future negotiations, depending on their play this season.
However, I would bet good money that defensive tackle Ryan Pickett and running back John Kuhn are not likely to return to Green Bay next year. tight end Andrew Quarless and tackle Marshall Newhouse are probably on the bubble as well. There may be extension deals coming to wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to pre-empt having to pay them more money once they reach unrestricted status.
This year’s cap number for NFL team is $123 million and it is not expected to rise much in future years. The salaries for Matthews and Rodgers will rise over time and take an increasing percentage of the Packers’ cap money, so the current prudence in signing the team’s future stars early to long-term deals is obvious and should allow Green Bay to remain competitive for years.
So, where do they start? Who should they target?
We would love to hear from you.